(London, April 1, 2016) Reprenstatives from East African Healthcare Forum Dr Emily Cheserem (Chairperson), Dr Mary Thomson (Secretary) and Ms Sophie Gitiba of Tujijenge Pamoja Network (TPN) paid a courtesy call on the High Commissioner H.E Lazarus Amayo.
Accompanying the High Commissioner was Amb. Jackline Yonga and Immigration Attache Mr Benson Wakhule.
The East African Healthcare Forum formed in 2012 aims at creating a networking platform for healthcare professionals. The group consists of East African Diaspora, who have specialised in medicine, pharmacy and health management. She outlined the areas her organisation has identified for assistance to the Kenyan government:
- Assistance with standardisation of core and medical guidelines
- Contribution in areas like telemedicine, for educational purposes and in future, medical care
- Link Kenyan institutions with Royal Colleges (Specialisation institutions)
- Facilitate exchange programmes
Dr Emily Cheserem the Chairperson had informed the High Commissioner that the organisation has established links with Kenyan health groups such as Kenyatta Hospital and Kenya Medical Association. The organisation is collaborating with Kenyatta Hospital in the area of Oncology, and with Kenya Medical Association, in professional training.
Dr Mary Thomson revealed that they had learnt a lot from the experience of their West African Colleagues which has established similar Associations. The West African healthcare Association mobilised members to respond to the Ebola crisis in their home countries.
The East African Healthcare Forum can also be able to intervene in case there is a health crisis in their home countries.
The Deputy Head of Mission Amb. Jackline Yonga lauded the group’s efforts in mobilising diaspora health professionals to assist their countries of origin. She stated that diaspora health professionals can contribute immensely to their nation’s development. She gave an example of the Ethiopia diaspora who have made a substantial contribution to their countries of origin’s health sector. She also commended the organisation for aligning their programmes with the diaspora policy especially on the issue of skills transfer. She advised the group first to focus on a few activities before advancing to multiple plans.
The High Commissioner commended the organisation for choosing to work in close collaboration with the Mission. He cited the Republic of Benin and Sierra Leone as countries that have benefited immensely from diaspora health professionals. The High Commissioner noted that Diaspora Healthcare Professionals can contribute to our nation’s development. He also stated that the Mission is ready to support the organisation in any of their activities and urged the Health Professionals to register with the Mission so that we can have a skills inventory which will assist in identifying Kenyans who can be considered for various opportunities.